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New physicians want work-life balance in first job, survey says

Work schedule, location also factors.

Work-life balance is the most important factor for new physicians choosing their first jobs – possibly as a result of dealing with stresses brought on by COVID-19, according to a new survey.

The responses confirmed and surpassed a similar finding from a study of 2018, according to health staffing consultant CHG Healthcare. The company announced the survey from its CompHealth division, which surveyed 145 physicians who had been out of residency for two to three years.

In 2022, 85% of physicians said work-life balance was the top factor in choosing the new job, increasing from 2018, when 63% of new physicians said work-life balance was the most important factor, the survey results said.

“This increase is significant but not surprising when compared to similar surveys that have found physicians’ attitudes toward the importance of wellness and work-life balance are changing in the wake of the pandemic,” the Salt Lake City-based firm said in the survey summary.

Work schedule and location were tied at 83% for the second most important factors when doctors were selecting a first job, followed by job/employer stability at 79%.

Salary remained in fifth place but jumped in importance from 49% in 2018 to 77% in 2022 as a job search factor for new physicians, according to the survey results.

Additional findings from the 2022 survey included:

  • Most physicians (57%) did not feel highly confident in the search for their first job out of residency and that most (66%) were actively searching for jobs during residency.
  • In the search for first jobs, 68% of doctors said their residency programs were not very helpful, although 42% offered CV assistance and 28% offered networking events and helped with finding local jobs or fellowships. The areas where physicians desired more assistance were in negotiating contracts and compensation.
  • Most physicians (70%) were happy with their first jobs out of residency. That increased 5% from the 2018 survey, when 65% reported being satisfied with their position.


This article was originally published on Medical Economics®.